Young evangelicals: "I'm not for killing babies, but I'm pro-choice."
(Tim, w/thanks to David and James) Tonight, our third year Pastors College students start studying Iain Murray's splendid Evangelicalism Divided. If you haven't read it, do.
When it came out in 2000, I marked pages right and left. Now, getting ready to teach the class, I'm reading it again and it's packing the same wallop it did the first time. Murray proves evangelicalism ceased being a community of faith at least sixty years ago, and now is only a community of experience and sentiment.
In other words, today's evangelicals are the great, great, great, great grandchildren of Schleiermacher, the great, great grandchildren of the Auburn Affirmation heretics, the grandchildren of Nelson Bell and his son-in-law, Billy Graham...
(Bell founded the Southern Presbyterian Journal, predecessor to World magazine, and with Billy, Christianity Today), and the children of Tony Campolo and Brian McLaren. We're surrounded by leftover liberalism gussied up to look fresh and hip.
To illustrate, check out these quotes from an article in yesterday's Philadelphia Inquirer:
Gay marriage, abortion and the family are important, but poverty is the key issue in determining who I'd vote for.
Education and health care for poor people - that's vital, and that's why I'm leaning toward Obama. His stand on abortion collides with evangelicals', but poverty is more important than abortion.
I want to have a country that stresses family, but we should represent all ideas about what a family is, gay and nongay.
People don't see that both Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton profess their Christianity and act their faith by telling us to love each other.
I'm not for gayness, but everyone deserves to have a great life. I'm not for killing babies, but I'm pro-choice.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, take a hard look. This is the love of God and neighbor representative of evangelical Christian faith today. Really, how different is this from the German church under Adolph Hitler?
Jesus didn't ask His disciples to focus on narrative and to share faith pilgrimages. He commanded them to make disciples, baptizing and teaching them to obey everything He had commanded. And the first devotion of the Jerusalem church was doctrinal: Luke tells us they were "devoted to the teaching of the Apostles."
Christian faith that claims to be loving while endorsing sodomite marriage and the slaughter of unborn children is no Christian faith at all.
* * *
PS: If you're skeptical at my lumping Bell and Graham in with the rest, read Evangelicalism Divided, and then follow it with Carl Henry's autobiography, Confessions of a Theologian. When you're done with both books, read the next two issues of World and try to find anything a conservative Roman Catholic would disagree with. We're lulled to sleep by the PCA membership of World's founder and editor, but it's been years since World has been Protestant, let alone reformed or presbyterian, in its doctrine.
Sure, I know y'all love World, but you should know what you are and are not getting from it.